Saturday, 13 September 2014

$50m Found In Account Of PDP Guber Candidate Involved In Oil Theft, EFCC Denies Manipulation

The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission on Friday confirmed that it has arrested and detained Mr. Jarrett Tenebe, a PDP gubernatorial hopeful in Edo State who is involved in high level oil theft.

It was learned from EFCC sources that $50million has been found in an account belonging to Tenebe.

On Thursday Sahara Reporters reported that Mr. Tenebe was reported to have shocked investigators as he had revealed to them he enjoyed the cover of several top government officials and politicians, naming Mike Oghiadomhe, a former Chief of Staff to President Goodluck Jonathan; Tony Anenih, chair of the PDP Board of Trustees; and Diezani Alison Madueke, the Petroleum Resources Minister.

EFCC admitted the arrest in a statement but tried to cover up the powerful men and women:

“The attributions ascribed to the unknown and unnamed EFCC source is shocking as it runs contrary to the established media protocol at the Commission,” the statement said. “For the benefit of members of the public who may have been misled by the attributions, all information emanating from the EFCC to the media are authenticated by the designated official spokesperson, which is not the case with this report.”

It is unclear if the EFCC statement was supposed to have been taken seriously by anyone, as it was not signed by its own spokesman or any known official of the commission. That suggests that the response was indeed authored by someone within the government.

In the face-saving press statement, the EFCC failed to explain why Mr. Tenebe was arrested and put under investigation for close to one week without making the information public or charging the suspect to court.

“It is important to state here that no serving or former petroleum resources minister or public figure has been linked to the investigation in question,” the commission said, adding that the findings of its investigation about Tenebe would be made public in due course.

Citing what it described as its corporate “integrity,” the EFCC declared that it is not “a pliable institution that is susceptible to manipulation by vested interests.”

“Claims, that the Commission 'had been under intense pressure from several quarters to muddle up the case in order to spring the suspect free' is an ingenious invention to impugn the integrity of the EFCC,” it said.

But SaharaReporters learned from investigators today that the $50 million found in Mr. Tenebe’s account were a leftover of deposits from the illegal sale of crude oil through Saltpond Oil platform in Ghana.

As was previously reported, the gubernatorial candidate, backed by powerful PDP bigwigs, as well as officials of the presidency and the Ministry of Petroleum Resources, enjoyed complete impunity until the US investigators forced the Nigerian government to look into his activities. It was that US intervention that last week compelled the EFCC to arrest him.

Even then, the EFCC kept the arrest under wraps until our story appeared. “The agency (EFFC) refused to make his arrest public as pressure mounted by Tenebe’s accomplices within the Nigerian government and the PDP party hierarchy.” says an anti-corruption activist familiar with Tenebe’s arrest.

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